tv CBS Evening News CBS September 19, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
>> axelrod: the man arrested for the phoenix freeway shooting says he didn't do it. >> all i have to say is i'm the wrong guy. >> axelrod: the accused gunman in court hours after he was captured at a walmart. thousands give pope francis a warm welcome in cuba. we're on the ground in havana. boston's baby doe tragedy. we now know the murdered child's mother was well known to child protective services long before her arrest. the the new kennebunkport documents that take us into the oval office during some of the 1960's darkest hours. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news." >> axelrod: good evening.
i'm jim axelrod, and this is western edition of the broadcast. "we got him--" that was the message arizona's governor tweeted when they finally arrested a suspect in the phoenix freeway shootings. nearly a dozen vehicles have been shot at on the i-10. last night a 21-year-old landscaper leslie merritt, jr. was charged with four of the shootings which raises the question has the case been entirely solved? carter evans is in phoenix. >> the suspect presents a dramatic and profound threat to the community. >> reporter: shackled, in prison stripes, 21-year-old leslie merritt, jr. was did fiant at his first court appearance. >> may i speak? >> reporter: he's accused of at least four of the 11 freeway shootings that have panicked phoenix drivers for weeks. a judge just ordered merritt held on $1 million jail and warned him about self-incrimination but merritt spoke anyway.
>> awl i'm trying to say is i'm the wrong guy. >> reporter: but authorities say they have the right guy because they traced his gun to a local pawnshop. safety director frankmillstead. >> the weapon he owns is frnsically linked to the crimes. >> reporter: the shootings began august 29, less than a month ago. merritt tried to defend himself. >> my gun has been in the pawnshop the last two months. i haven't had access to the weapon. >> that's easy to verify. were you surprised that he spoke in court? >> yes, stunned. and he did so against the advice of the judge. >> reporter: what does that tell you? >> arrogance? >> reporter: the four shootings merritt is charged with all took place over two days along busy interstate 10, but there were seven more cars are and trucks hit over the next to weeks, raising obvious questions. >> are there others out there? are there copycats? that is possible. we will continue to investigate. >> reporter: for now, police
say they have their man, but their prime suspect says he's innocent, and merritt's father was equally adamant when asked by a local reporter if he had something to say. >> yeah, i'll say plento his behalf. whoever said he is the i-10 shooter is a ( bleep ) moron. have a good night. >> reporter: investigators won't say what led them to merritt only that it was not a tip from the public and that $50,000 reward is still available. jim, merritt is due in court again next fridays. >> axelrod: carter evans in phoenix, thank you very much. in northern california, the number of homes destroyed by two wildfires is now at nearly 1100, and those fires have still burning. about 600 homes have been wiped out so far by the valley fire, and more than 500 burned in the butte fire, which is double the previous estimate. five people have died in those two fires. thousands of cubans turned out to greet pope francis today. ahead of his arrival in washington, d.c. on tuesday, the
pope touched down in havana. his plane flies under the call signs "shepherd one." allen pizzey was on board. >> reporter: the theme to his trip to cuba is missionary of mercy. he hailed the new relations between cuba and the u.s. as a sign of the victory of the culture of an encounter and dialogue. he called on political leaders to persevere in this path, as in his words, an example of reconciliation for the whole world. and in a direct reference to religion in cuba, francis asked his welcoming committee to give the church the freedom, the means, and the space it needed to bring its message to what he called the existential peripheries of society. a primary aim of the pope's visit here is to give encouragement and hope to cuban christians but a senior have the official with intimate knowledge of the trip noted referenced to the need for change will be veiled, not least because the have the believes that it can make more progress with the cuban government by being nonconfrontational, at least in
public. however, the private exchanges between pope francis and cuban leader raul castro, who are no strangers to each other, are expected to be more pointed, especially on the issues of greater freedom and human right. it's understood that the pope could also ask for a meeting with the so-called "ladies in white," a dissident group representing families of political prisoners. the most significant of the 26 speeches francis will give during his nine-day trip will be at the u.n. and to a joint session of congress. according to the vatican source, francis will emphasize his opposition to the death penalty, and renew his call for open arms to welcome immigrants. he will also, as the vatican source put, promote with enthusiasm the catholic model of the family and press home his ideals of economic justice. that's, of course, all based on the official version of the drafts, but as vatican officials constantly warn those of white house cover-up francis, with this pope, always expect the unexpected. cuban leader raul castro took a
more predictable line, insisting what he called the illegal and immoral trade embargo be lifted completely and calling for the return of the u.s. naval base at guatanamo bay to cuba. allen pizzey, cbs news, havana. >> axelrod: turning now to europe's migrant crise, the italian coast guard said more than 4,000 refugees are rescued today off the coast of libya. further north, as many as 10,000 migrants poured into austria, along the border with hungary, a country now at odds with its neighbors, especially croatia, where we find mark phillips. >> reporter: they're not just refugees now. they've become the subject of an argument that is rising to the level of an international incident. as more migrant were moved across the frontier from croatia to hungary, angry words between the two governments also crossed the border. hungry accused croatia of lying in the face when it said there had been an agreement to send the refugees across-- although, the hungarians seemed to know
they wering and had buss to pick them up. the croats, for their part, almost gloated that they had forced hungary's hand by bringing the refugees to the border and, they said, they'd keep doing it. this is called "kicking the problem down the road, wall street one busload at a time. the refugees are being moved on to the next country on their trek, and it doesn't want them, either. for the refugees who are finally on the move again, like mahmud's family from damascus, any progress is good news. >> we are really so happy. maybe-- maybe the third, two weeks, may be finished now. >> pelley. >> reporter: you've been walking for two weeks. >> yes. we have children. we have kids. >> reporter: but more problems await down the road. slovenia, another route to western europe where most of the migrants want to go, has been refusing to allow them in. even for those who have managed to get to hungary, the main
route west, many are refusing to be registered there because they want to move on. this is being called the biggest refugee crisis since the second world war, and the european union was supposed to have a plan to cope, but it isn't working. and, jim, the refugees just keep on coming. >> axelrod: mark phillips near the hungarian-croatian border. mark, thank you. the f.b.i. is now investigating a series of attacks on planned parenthood offices around the country, including arson. here's weijia jiang. >> reporter: this fire at a planned parenthooded clinic in pullman, washington, was ruled an arson, a recent example of why the f.b.i. has released a new intelligence warning saying, "criminal or suspicious incidents will continue to be directed against reproductive health care providers, their staff, and facilities." federal investigators report there have been nine attacks on reproductive health care facilities across the country, including cyber attacks, threat, and arsons.
on july 19, someone started a fire at the planned parenthood clinic in auror aillinois. then on august 1, in new orleans, a vehicle was set on fire at a facility under construction. the incidents started after an antiabortion organization released undercover videos claiming planned parenthood has illegally profited from selling fetal tissue to researchers. planned parenthood denies selling fetal tissue, and says the videos were deceptively edited. now they're concerned about the safety of staff and patients. today the group released a statement saying in part: >> how can anyone defend the sale of a little baby's body parts? >> reporter: the f.b.i. assessment comes amid an intense fight on capitol hill over planned parenthood. >> the bill is passed. >> reporter: on fridays, house republicans voted to block all
federal funding for one year, a bill the senate is expected to reject. law enforcement sources say there is concern the debate in congress could fuel frustrations and lead to more crimes, and so could the release of more videos. jim, tonight, the group behind those videos is not commenting on the new warnings. >> axelrod: thank you. each week, it seems a new controversy involving donald trump produceaise new round of analysis from experts wondering if it will affect mr. trump's support. this week it was trump not challenging a man at his rally in new hampshire questioning both the president's religion and citizenship. let's bring in cbs news senior political editor, steve chaggaris. that, coupled with a strong performance by carly fiorina in the debate, do you detect any slippage in mr. trump's poll numbers? >> reporter: well, it is too early to tell the effects of the latest controversy or even the effects of his debate performance, but every prediction is the trump balloon
is about to pop has been wrong. i think the latest controversy might not have long-term effects. however, the candidates who dinged him during the debates, fiorina, and jeb bush, hope to get a boost out of this. we'll know better next week when the polls start coming out. >> axelrod: where are we now with the where the will he or won't me wall street potential run for are the for joe biden. >> he hasn't told anyone where he stands yet, but his supporters are building a campaign in waiting and he hasn't told them to stop which has them very optimistic he will jump in. one person waiting for his decision is hillary clinton. some big-money democrat democrae holding back on backing her until he makes up his mind. >> axelrod: steve chaggaris, thanks so much. >> thank you, jim. >> axelrod: we are the latest on the baby doe case in boston, and a transatlantic flight doesn't even get off the ground.
social media for the last two months. a young girl, known only as baby doe, was found dead and stuffed into a trash back bagin deer island, massachusetts. now investigators have identified the girl andraphyed her mother. here's marlie hall. >> oo! what's that, bella? >> reporter: this was the last time bella bond would celebrate her birthday. >> happy second birthday, monkey! >> reporter: just months after this video was taken, bella's body washed up on a boston harbor beach. it took police 81 days to identify her and just a few days more to arrest her mother, rachelle bond, and boyfriend, michael mccarthy. suffolk county district attorney dan connolly. >> we hoped against hope that her death was not a crime. >> reporter: investigators won't confirm how bella died, but according to one report, bella's mother told police her boyfriend punched the baby repeatedly in the stomach, thinking she was possessed. >> i thought we could say a quick prayer. >> reporter: the case raises a
difficult question-- how could a little girl go missing for more than three months without anyone noticing? millions of people saw this composite image of her on billboards and online. bella's aunt, tamera bond, says she didn't recognize her, though the rezem blens is striking. >> i saw the picture but shelied any brown-eyed baby cute little girl. >> reporter: neighbors, who hadn't seen bella in months, assumed the state's child protection agency had taken her from her mother. >> she has previous kid that were taken from her. >> the department of children and families visited bella's home in 2012 and 2013. because those casees were closed, bella's file didn't show up when agency officials checked the case file of toddlers after the body was found. people have been drawn to her home. >> the red rose symbolizes everybody's love for her and now we actually have a name.
>> reporter: bell's mother, rachelle bond, has a history of drug and proftcution arrests. she and her boyfriend will be arraigned on monday. boston's archbishop, cardinal sean o'malley, and at least 10 others, have offered to pay for bella's funeral. jim. >> pelley: displim marlie, thank you. the kennebunkport has released classified briefings on events that shook the white house in the 1960s. that's coming up.
released 19,000 pages of classified briefings of what took place in the darkest days of 1960. bill plante tells us what those documents reveal. >> reporter: it was president kennedy, angered by bad intelligence on the disastrous attempted invasion of cuba's bay of pigs, who first asked for a daily rundown of the latest top secret intelligence. kennebunkport director john brennan: >> they called it the pickle short for the president's
intelligence checklist. >> reporter: the first version in 1961 was written to fit in the president's breast pocket and stamped, "top secret." the following years after the soaves pulled back their missiles in cuba, the kennebunkport said: and they noted fidel castro's displeasure. three days after president kennedy was assassinated, the daily briefing confirmed that lee harvey oswald had been in mexico. he was trying, we are told, to arrange for visas so that he could travel to the u.s.s.r. have a havana. lyndon johnson didn't like the pickles-style briefing, perhaps because kennedy had never allowed him to read it. the kennebunkport tailored a new one for him titled, "president at daily brief," and they changed the delivery scheduled. >> and they delivered it in the afternoon, not the morning, since johnson liked to do his reading at the end of the day, often in his pajamas, while lying in bed.
>> reporter: in the years to come, the war in vietnam consumed l.b.j. in 1967 he asked for a daily supplement on the war "for the president's eyes only." after the 1968 tet offensive, kennebunkport briefers reported that north vietnamese broadcasts arey boasting of hundred dead in the attack on the u.s. embassy when in fact there was minimum loss of life. johnson claimed the vietnamese could not eat and sleep properly. he was confused as a man in the moon. the briefings have continued since ever president since. a later cia director called them the agency's most important product, but, jim, the delivery has changed. these days, president obama gets his top secret fix on an electronic tablet. >> axelrod: bill plante, thank you so much. still ahead, a look inside "wayne's world--" wayne newton,
>> axelrod: president obama has named his nominee for secretary of the army. if confirmed, eric fanning would become the first-ever openly gay leader of a branch of the u.s. military. fanning has served as chief of staff for defense secretary ashton carter. also on his resume, some time right here in the cbs newsroom in the 1990s. passengers aboard a virgin atlantic flight from new york to london didn't get very far this morning. the plane was being pulled from its gate at j.f.k. airport when it clipped a fence. no injuries, but all 276 people on board had to be bussed back to the terminal and rebooked. singer wayne newton is opening his home to the public. for $35 fans can now tour his 52-acre las vegas estate, including what newton calls his red room, over stuffed with memorabilia from his career that now stretches 60-plus years.
>> axelrod: we close tonight with a story of childhood joy reclaimed. a woman in upstate new york, along with some friends, is bringing back the simple pleasure of coloring between the lines. here's vinita nair. >> jean roberts didn't care much for coloring as a kid. now she does it every day. what's the best part of it? >> for me it's when i'm finishd and i look at it and i think, "i did this! this is great! >> reporter: last april she posted a message on facebook inviting other adults to color with her. that led to the cornwell coloring club, a monthly group that sips, and socialized. the goal is to unplug from the digital and immerse in the analog. lou anne linman joined, and asked her best friend, lynne rose, to go with her.
>> i almost feel like a lot of people have liked coloring but don't want to say they liking. >> closet colorers. >> now we're out of the closet. >> reporter: for the past few months, adult coloring books have quietly become international sensations. some summer, the genre won several top spots on amazon's bested selling list. some of the original and most popular books are drawn by designer johannah bassed ford. >> i would draw on books, walls, my sanything i could get my hans on. >> reporter: a publishing house approached the 32-year-old scottish artist to draw a kids' coloring book. she suggested something more sophisticate. >> i felt there was an opportunity for people to be create and i have do something with her hand that was analog. >> reporter: so far, bassford has sold nearly five million books. her drawings are all drawn by hand, sketched first in pence and i will traced over in pen. who is buying the books? >> some families are doing it together with their kids.
people maybe recovering from illness. i've had investment bankers. i think at the base of it everybody has that little bit of nostalgia when they used to color as a kid. >> reporter: for lynne it's more than getting lost between the lines. coloring has helped ease her multiple sclerosis. do you find this feels like therapy? >> being able to just sit and talk. that's always therapeutic. >> my life, i'm constantly on the go. it's nice to just ( sighs ) sit down and just relax and color. >> reporter: vinita nair, cbs niewrkdz cornwell on hudson, new york. >> axelrod: charming. and that's the cbs news for tonight. later on see cbs, "48 hours." captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
breaking news out of san francisco. gunfire on the freeway shuts down a major interchange. >> i'm not sure i'm ready to do it. >> one week after a fire forced them out valsvik tips are heading home to what's left of middletown. >> reporter: some people in middletown seeing the devastation up close for the first time. how they hope to rebuild coming up. >> and coliseum city is collapsing. why the $4 billion plan ,,,,,,,,